Musical statues and musical bumpsThese are still classics that all kids should take part in - they're also good for getting rid of all that excess energy! Everyone dances around to music and then when the music stops, they all stand still or sit down as quickly as possible. Judge who was still moving or the last to sit on the floor, until you only have one left.
Childrens' party fun rating: 4/5 - this games gets most fun around the end, when you can try and distract the players who are still in the game.
Pass the ParcelIt's still a must-do at parties! Put a small sweet or other present between each wrapper and maybe a forfeit (like hop around the room) too. Something cheap like a colouring book or a pot of blowing bubbles will make a good prize.
Childrens' party fun rating: 4/5 - although beware of parcel snatching from all ages.
Simon SaysGet the kids giggling by getting them to do something silly (like hop around on one leg while holding their ear) and then use it to calm them down at the end with an instruction like 'Simon says sit down and only talk in whispers'.
Childrens' party fun rating: 4/5 - the more creative you are with what simon says, the more fun this game is.
Pass the balloonAlways entertaining for everyone who takes part. Split the kids into two teams and make them stand in a line and then they have to pass a balloon all the way along the line from one to the next between their legs.
Childrens' party fun rating: 5/5 - guaranteed to make you all giggle!
Treasure huntIdeal for a pirate party, but can easily be changed to other themes. This works just as well inside as outside. Either come up with some clues that link from one to another and hide them - the last being the prize. Alternatively, hide some objects that the kids have to find - silver foil, vegetables, items of clothing and the first to collect the entire list is the winner. Make sure there's enough treasure for everyone to find something.
Childrens' party fun rating: 5/5 - If you've got the time to set this up, it'll be a real winner. And if you can make it last long enough, you may even have time for a sit down and a cup of tea while they play.
Pin the tailTraditionally a donkey, but this could be whatever works best with your theme - monkey, dolphin or even an alien!
Childrens' party fun rating: 3/5 - Make sure everyone gets a go or there'll be tears!
SkittlesAn old favourite, but you could make easily make skittles out of old juice cartons/plastic milk bottles and then decorate them to suit your theme. Make sure your ball is heavy enough to knock them down, but won't damage anything. This game is probably best played in the garden.
Childrens' party fun rating: 4/5 - your kids will enjoy helping you decorate the bottles before the party too
One person is blindfolded and sits on a chair in the middle of a room/garden with a set of keys under the chair. People then have to creep up and pick up the keys without being heard. The person in the chair points at people he hears and they are 'out'.
Childrens' party fun rating: 3/5 - and this game requires hardly any planning, which is a bonus for you!